Winning the Race


I’m Lori Gensch – the principal at our ECC Elementary (PK & K) and K.C. Ling, where we serve grades 1st-4th. I hope you’ll stop back here in early October. Every day, we’re building firm foundations in academics and social skills in our schools. And I’m eager to show you how Hemlock is helping our kids win the race. (Thanks to your support, of course!)

It’s a win-win program for every student involved!

October 14th, 2019

Students at Hemlock Elementary & K.C. Ling have the opportunity to participate in the peer-to-peer program.

This program pairs up general education students with autistic students in order to encourage and support them throughout the school day.

One of the special activities our 4th graders get to participate in is Student Game Day. On this occasion, peer-to-peer students spend their recess time playing games with one another.

Opportunities such as these not only promote independence and socialization for every student involved, they also empower our general education students to serve as positive role models and make a difference in the life of a classmate.

Not everyone uses Amazon to shop!

Last Thursday, October 4th, the K.C. Ling School Store celebrated its Grand Opening.

Throughout the school year, Student Council members will be in charge of running the store, which largely sells small school supplies and other fun goodies.

This enterprising opportunity allows our students to enhance communication skills, provide quality customer service, and ultimately prepare them to be productive citizens in the larger community.

It’s a big part of our focus on growing young leaders in our school.

Plus, who doesn’t like to go shopping?!?

At K.C. Ling Elementary, we are building future leaders!

Just a couple of weeks ago 3rd and 4th graders elected two students from each of their classrooms to serve as representatives on Student Council.

Our Student Council meets monthly with Student Council Adviser, Ms. Erica VanAlst, and plans a variety of school-wide activities.

Members of our Student Council work to promote school spirit all year long and also “lead the way” in another important area, too. They serve as positive role models for their peers.


I’m Terry Keyser – the principal at Hemlock Middle School. There are many exciting things happening in education today and I’m pleased we’re preparing our students for the future the Hemlock way, with caring, high expectations, and an emphasis on personal responsibility. Along with Lori and Keith, I will be sharing highlights for you here.

At HMS, we are focused on the "whole student"!

October 14, 2019

At Hemlock Middle School, we are working to make sure our students are high school, college and career ready. Developing skills in these four areas are critically important: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking.

Our staff works hard to provide diverse opportunities for students to build their skills, including leadership groups like student council, music, art, and movement (physical fitness).

It’s opportunities like these that give our students time to practice and grow these essential skills.

And how would you see this happening?

• You’d see students presenting their ideas to each other.

• You’d see students on different instruments playing a piece of music together.

• You’d see students demonstrating how they solved a problem.

• You’d see students recording their work so they can take ownership of their progress and be able to reference it later.

As in life – and especially at the middle school level – every student is unique and possesses their own personal ideas, feelings, and attitudes. We give our students a variety of ways to express their creativity at HMS with music, art, leadership groups and movement.

What role does technology play at HMS?

The tech tools our students and teachers use every day are just that – tools! Like the tools used by all of us in our various jobs and activities, our school’s tech tools are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.

Every student has a Chromebook to help them access information, demonstrate learning, communicate with teachers, and with each other. Students use their Chromebooks to create music, art, and to research and solve problems.

Our tech tools spark greater teamwork and the sharing of new approaches, ideas, experiments, and online resources for learning. Our digital textbook resources support classroom instruction and provide additional supplemental learning for students at every level. These resources are also used by students to develop and submit ideas and work.

Communication--Collaboration--Creativity--Critical Thinking--are the cornerstones to becoming high school, college and career ready... and our teachers are amazing at helping our students effectively use their “tech tools” in preparing for future success.

Take a peek into the classroom of the future!

At Hemlock Middle School, we are focusing on Communication–Collaboration–Creativity–Critical Thinking.

These 4C's are the kinds of skills that will make all of our students more successful in their classroom experiences today, after high school, and later on in their careers.

We introduce and practice these four skills every day in many different ways.

STEAM class projects, Spanish class skits, Science labs, math class group problems, Art classes, band, and drama are just a few of the opportunities our middle school students have available to them as they strive to Win the Race and be college and career ready!


I’m Keith Green – the principal at Hemlock High School. The world our students will graduate into is more competitive and uncertain than what we knew back in our day. At our high school, we’re ramping up our rigor in both our college-bound and career-bound pathways. Our outstanding staff is also working to provide more opportunities for students to help them explore and grow their unique interests. I’ll share them here soon.

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ART touches every season at Hemlock High!

October 14, 2019

We love the visual arts at Hemlock High School.

Every fall the art students paint the sidewalks of our school in preparation for the Friday night Homecoming game and festivities. During the day, the younger students enjoy seeing all of the artistic talents coming together – and later, the Homecoming crowd marvels at the colorful and themed displays.

Of course, art and graphic design classes are a big part of our school’s academic offerings. But all throughout the school year, our students look forward to participating in a variety of special events where they can showcase their creativity.

During the chilly days of winter, HHS has sent an award-winning Snow Sculpting team to Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth,

and in the spring, Hemlock High hosts one of the largest art shows in Saginaw County!

This annual event features many of our Hemlock artists, K-12. It’s an incredible exhibition. There are more than 2000 attendees and a number of our alumni come back to show some of the art projects they created in college or in their careers.

There’s a tremendous passion for arts in our students at HHS. And as the principal, how do I know? Seeing is believing!

Benchmarking Progress is Essential

SAT scores are a huge part of the college admission process. We help our students at Hemlock High by spotlighting their test scores and benchmarks so they can successfully prepare themselves for their next step after graduation.

We have an “SAT Data Wall” located in the main commons area of our schools. Students can confidentially view their score and see how they stack up to the rest of their class.

The SAT Data Wall’s information is proving to be very motivational. Students can view the average SAT scores required by state universities and see if their scores are good enough. For example, if you want to attend Michigan State it is helpful to know that the average SAT score for incoming MSU freshmen is 1190. If you're a freshman sitting at 950 you might want to kick it in gear. This awareness helps them track their progress, see where they can improve, and reinforce the importance of doing their best to achieve their dreams.

Huskie Nation is strong and growing!

At Hemlock High School our enthusiastic community is on display every Friday night home game with a pre-game moment of silence with the Pompon squad, Football team, and the Marching band.

This is a new tradition for us.

Our school community commitment continues after each home game with the student section joining the football team in a post-game speech by our coach.

Growing pride and community in our school supports our combined effort to help our students “Win the Race” in their future college and career endeavors.